Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A-Z Wednesday

A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: H

Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt

Book Description:
Honey for a Child's Heart is a compelling, essential guide for parents who want to find the best books for their children. Thousands of parents have used it to furnish their children's inner spirit with the wonder and delight of good reading.

A good books is a giveaway into a wider world of wonder, beauty, delight, and adventure. But children don't stumble onto the best books by themselves. They need a parent's help. Author Gladys Hunt discusses everything from how to choose good books for your children to encouraging them to be avid readers.

Completely revised and updated to keep pace with the ever-changing world of children's literature, this fourth edition of Honey for a Child's Heart reflects Hunt's broad tastes in books. Rooted in experience, her suggestions will enrich the cultural and spiritual life of your home. She shows you how to:
-Understand the importance of reading aloud to children
-Give you children a large view of the world, of truth, of goodness
-Encourage each child's imagination and good use of language
-Teach your children about life's choices
-Find the best books for your children

Illustrated with drawings from dozen of children's favorites, Honey for a Child's Heart includes book lists geared to your child's age and filled with nearly 1,000 long-time favorites, classics, and wonderful new books that will enrich your child's life.

My thoughts:
When I first started to homeschool I kept coming across the title of this book and checked it out from the library. I felt like I had found a treasure and I quickly bought myself a copy. This book is full of encouraging ideas and a wonderful resource filled with list upon lists of books!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.

The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith

Bertie could see it coming, but why was his mother so blinkered, so utterly unaware of the strikingly obvious? There was so much that she seemed just not to notice, thought Bertie - obvious things, like the way that Ulysses looked so like Dr. Fairbairn. p. 89

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Book Review: The Bride Blunder by Kelly Eileen Hake

Book Description:

One Name...

When Gavin Miller hires on to set up a gristmill for the prospering town of Buttonwood, Nebraska, he’s looking to build more than a business. For the first time, Gavin is in a position to request the hand of the woman he’s never forgotten; Miss Marguerite Chandler.

Divided Between Two Cousins,

When Marguerite’s cousin steps down from the stage, Gavin realizes the terrible blunder he’s made. While he never forgot Marguerite was the French word for Daisy, he’d failed to recall that the two cousins shared their grandmother’s name, and Marge was the nickname of the wrong Miss Marguerite Chandler!

Equals Big Trouble for Three Hearts!

Marge rejects his offer of marriage when she discovers the truth and goes about setting up a school in town. She’s found a place in Buttonwood, but just when Gavin’s beginning to think maybe Marge holds a place in his life, a distraught Daisy descends upon the town with a broken heart—and a broken engagement.

Can God’s will become clear even after The Bride Blunder?

My thoughts:
I have enjoyed the Prairie Promises Series by Kelly Eileen Hake and was excited to see The Bride Blunder at my library. I enjoyed the story of Gavin and Marge, but found the plot frustrating, which I did not experience in the first two books, The Bride Backfire and The Bride Bargain. Another character, Midge, who was in the previous books, is an important character in The Bride Blunder. So much so, her character and story were much more fascinating than Marge, Gavin and Daisy's. (When you read the book description you don't even read one word about her!) By the conclusion of the book it felt like the author was trying fit in every character's personal story. Overall, I have to admit everything ended nice and tidy, but not as quite as satisfactory as it could have been.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A-Z Wednesday

A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: G

Good and Angry:Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids! by Scott Turansky and JoAnne Miller

Book Description:
Parents often feel angry when their children do the wrong things. But responding to children in anger rarely brings about the desired result and can even have a damaging effect instead. Yet anger doesn’t have to be the enemy. It can be a trigger that makes parents even more effective. Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller show them how.

Recognizing the very real emotions parents feel, Good and Angry taps into the constructive side of parents’ anger and teaches welcome strategies for addressing the things their children do to drive them crazy. Addressing common problem areas for children–such as annoying behavior, lying, not following instructions, and bad attitudes–this book outlines seven routines that will help children improve in these areas and allow them to thrive in their relationship with parents and with others.

In Good and Angry, moms and dads will come to understand anger’s true purpose and how they can use it successfully in their day-to-day parenting. They will also learn new approaches that will solve many common problems and, in the process, help both them and their children grow closer to God.

My thoughts:
I read this book last year and it was a great help to me. This was a book that was easy to read and understand, yet it is full of wonderful information. I would like to go back and re-read this again since I know I will benefit from it.

Book Review: The Husband Tree by Mary Connealy

Book Description:
Belle Tanner buries her third worthless husband and makes a vow over his shallow grave. She’s learned her lesson. No more men.

Silas Harden just lost his second ranch because of a woman. The first deserted him when times got tough. Now he’s had to quit the whole state of New Mexico to avoid a trumped-up shotgun wedding and the noose of matrimony. He’s learned his lesson. No more women.

Belle needs hired hands to move a cattle herd late in the season and there’s no one around but seemingly aimless Silas. She hires him reluctantly.

Silas signed on, glad for the work, though worried about a woman doing such a thing as hiring drovers, only to find out he’s the lone man going with five woman, including a baby still in diapers. After the cattle drive is over, he might as well shoot himself to speed up the process of being embarrassed to death.

A fast approaching winter.

The toughest lady rancher you’ve ever seen.

My thoughts:
The Husband Tree by Mary Connealy is the second book in the Montana Marriages Series. This story is full of the great humor and wit that I've come to expect from Mary Connealy. I thoroughly enjoyed The Husband Tree and couldn't help being drawn into Belle's harrowing cattle drive and her undeniable attraction to Silas which led to an exciting conclusion.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What's On Your Nightstand - March

What's On Your Nightstand

From my February post I read:
Beyond this Moment by Tamera Alexander
Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson
Heart of Stone by Jill Marie Landis
Already Gone by Ken Ham
For Young Men Only by Jeff Feldhahn & Eric Rice
Cherries in Winter by Suzan Colon

I also read:
The Bride Blunder by Kelly Eileen Hake (review coming)
The Husband Tree by Mary Connealy (review coming)
Parenting with Purpose by Glenda Andrus
A Mother's Heart by Jean Fleming

I listened to:
By the Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleischman
What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge

I am currently reading:
The Swiss Courier by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.

The Swiss Courier by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey

A chill traveled up her spine and she turned quickly--just in time to see the form of a large man lunging at her. A shoulder plowed into her chest, and a cry escaped with her breath. p.32

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A-Z Wednesday

A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: F

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow

Book Description:
As soon as they say good night to Mama, the five little monkeys start to jump on their bed. But trouble lies ahead as, one by one, they fall off and hurt themselves.

My thoughts:
This book has been a favorite in our house since discovering it when Chantry was a little guy. Since the lines are very repetitive the kids can be involved with "reading" the story. This book has brought a lot of fun and laughter to our family.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.

The Bride Blunder by Kelly Eileen Hake

He watched Marge smile and speak, noticing how animated she was--the way she used her hands and leaned toward whom-ever she spoke with. His bride-to-be was an engaging little thing, but she wasn't proving easy to catch. p. 105

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Book Review: Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson

Book Description:
Bella Rossi may be nearing thirty, but her life is just starting to get interesting. When her Italian-turned-Texan parents hand over the family wedding planning business, Bella is determined not to let them down. She quickly books a "Boot Scoot'n" wedding that would make any Texan proud. There's only one catch--she's a country music numbskull because her family only listens to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Where will she find a DJ on such short notice who knows his Alan Jackson from his Keith Urban?

When a misunderstanding leads her to the DJ (and man) of her dreams, things start falling into place. But with a family like hers, nothing is guaranteed. Can the perfect Texan wedding survive a pizza-making uncle with mob ties, an aunt who is a lawsuit waiting to happen, and a massive delivery of 80 cowboy boots? And will Bella ever get to plan her own wedding?

Book one in the Weddings by Bella series, Fools Rush In is fun, fresh, and full of surprises. Readers will love the flavorful combination of Italian and Tex-Mex, and the hilarity that ensues when cultures clash.

My thoughts:
Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson came highly recommended and was a fun and exciting read. Another fun aspect of the book is that all the chapter titles came from songs, but I think the beauty tips that were shared in the book were were the icing on the cake. I look forward to reading the second book in the series, Swinging on a Star. If you are looking for a fun, fast read, Fools Rush In will fit the bill.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A-Z Wednesday

A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: E

Endangered Minds by Jane Healy

Is today's fast-paced media culture creating a toxic environment for our children's brains?

In this landmark, bestselling assessment tracing the roots of America's escalating crisis in education, Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., examines how television, video games, and other components of popular culture compromise our children's ability to concentrate and to absorb and analyze information. Drawing on neuropsychological research and an analysis of current educational practices, Healy presents in clear, understandable language:

-- How growing brains are physically shaped by experience
-- Why television programs -- even supposedly educational shows like Sesame Street -- develop "habits of mind" that place children at a disadvantage in school
-- Why increasing numbers of children are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder
-- How parents and teachers can make a critical difference by making children good learners from the day they are born

My thoughts:
I have had this book on my TBR list for awhile and I finally purchased it last month. I haven't been able to read it yet, but I'm hoping I can get it read this year.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.

The Husband Tree by Mary Connealy

As soon as Belle could get her humiliation under control, it occurred to her that Silas had known she was a widow lady for several minutes now, and instead of proposing to her on the spot, he'd run like a rooster with his tail feathers afire. That man was horrified at the very thought of marrying her.

It was the nicest thing a man had ever done for her.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Book Review: Heart of Stone by Jill Marie Landis

Book Description:
She had the darkest of pasts. And he had everything to lose by loving her. Laura Foster, free from the bondage of an unspeakable childhood, has struggled to make a new life for herself. Now the owner of an elegant boardinghouse in Glory, Texas, she is known as a wealthy, respectable widow. But Laura never forgets that she is always just one step ahead of her past. When Reverend Brand McCormick comes calling, Laura does all she can to discourage him as a suitor. She knows that if her past were discovered, Brand’s reputation would be ruined. But it’s not only Laura’s past that threatens to bring Brand down—it’s also his own. When a stranger in town threatens to reveal too many secrets, Laura is faced with a heartbreaking choice: Should she leave Glory forever and save Brand’s future? Or is it worth risking his name—and her heart—by telling him the truth?

My thoughts:
Heart of Stone by Jill Marie Landis is the first book in the Irish Angels series. I was captivated from the first chapter. I really enjoyed the character of Laura and Brand. She overcomes so much after experiencing so much sadness in her life and Brand faces his challenges head on. There were a couple of unexpected twists in the story that I wasn't expecting and that had me madly reading to find out what was going to happen.

I did have a slight problem with two of the side characters, Hank and Amelia Larson When they were introduced all the information given made me feel like I was supposed to already know about them. When I went to the author's website I found that there is a book about them, The Accidental Lawman. This was only a slight irritation and I was able to over my it quickly. So, if you love historical inspirational romance, then Heart of Stone is definitely a book to check out.

To read an excerpt go here.

Thanks to Anne from Authors On The Web for providing Heart of Stone for review.

Book Review: For Young Men Only by Jeff Feldhan & Eric Rice

Book Description:
Just for guys…
the inside scoop on girls
from the girls themselves.

Okay, the authors aren't girls. But to bring you the facts they surveyed more than 1,000 of them. Every teen guy wants to know how girls are wired, what they want, and how they really think…

Or at least how to talk to a girl without feeling like an idiot.

Here's your chance to find out.

My thoughts:
Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a young man, so why did I read this book? Well, I'm a mom and to boot, a mom that is not going to put a book in the hand of her "young man" son without pre-reading it first. I read For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn several years ago and was highly impressed with it. It is falls in my top list of pre-marriage and marriage books every woman should read. Since I have a 14 year old son my mother radar has been getting a lot of use trying to find books that will help him and his unexperienced parents to navigate this time of life. So when I saw For Young Men Only: A Guy's Guide to the Alien Gender by Jeff Feldhahn and Eric Rice I wanted to know more.

For Young Men Only does a great job of helping guys understand girls, plus makes it fun! (Just look at the subtitle: A Guy's Guide to the Alien Gender.) I chuckled all the way through. I think this is a very helpful book, and not only will young men benefit from it but parents and anyone that works with youth will benefit. You can learn more about For Young Men Only here and read an excerpt here.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Book Review: Beyond This Moment by Tamera Alexander

Book Description:
Dismissed from the university where she served as Professor of Romantic Languages, Dr. Molly Whitcomb travels west to start over in the secluded mountain town of Timber Ridge, Colorado, where she'll be teaching children. Her train stops in Denver, and on a whim, Molly purchases a wedding band--an attempt to cover a mistake, but also a chance at a fresh start.

Sheriff James McPherson was eager to hire a schoolteacher, but Dr. Molly Whitcomb isn't what he expected. His instincts about people--which rarely miss the mark--tell him she's hiding something. And when Molly's secret is revealed, her reinvented life begins to unravel. What's more, she risks losing her new found relationship with the sheriff and her renewed faith in God.

My thoughts:
Beyond This Moment by Tamera Alexander is the second book in the Timber Ridge Reflections Series. I was a little hesitant to read this since I wasn't crazy about the first book, From a Distance (reviewed here). I am glad to say I really enjoyed reading Beyond This Moment. I found Dr. Molly Whitcomb was a much more likable character and with the variety of characters that are met through out the book make for a great read.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A-Z Wednesday

A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: D

Don't Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman

Book Description:
Do you find yourself threatening, repeating your instructions, or raising your voice in an attempt to get your children to obey? Are you discouraged because it seems you just can't reach the heart of your child? Through personal experience and the practical application of Scripture, Ginger Plowman encourages and equips moms to reach past the outward behavior of their children and dive deeply into the issues of the heart. Ginger's candid approach will help moms move beyond the frustrations of not knowing how to handle issues of disobedience and into a confident and well-balanced approach to raising their children.

My thoughts:
I haven't read this book yet, but am hoping to get to it in a month or two. I have read positive and negative comments on this book, so I'm looking forward to actually read it and come up with my own conclusion.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.

Heart of Stone by Jill Marie Landis

Hollaway watched him intently. "So, she didn't even tell you her real name?" p. 229

Book Review: Already Gone by Ken Ham

Book Description:
If you look around in your church today, two-thirds of the young people who are sitting among us have already left in their hearts; soon they will be gone for good.
This is the alarming conclusion from a study Answers in Genesis commissioned from America's Research Group, led by respected researcher Britt Beemer. The results may unnerve you - they may shake long-held assumptions to the core-but these results need to be taken seriously by the church. Already Gone reveals:

Why America's churches have lost an entire generation of believers

The views of 1,000 twenty-somethings, solidly raised in the church but no longer attending-and their reasons why

Relevant statistical data effectively teamed with powerful apologetics

The study found that we are losing our kids in elementary, middle school, and high school rather than college, and the Sunday school syndrome is contributing to the epidemic, rather than helping alleviate it. This is an alarming wake-up call for the church, showing how our programs and our children are paying the price. Though the statistics reveal a huge disconnect taking place between our children and their church experience, Already Gone shows how to fight back for our families, our churches, and our world. We can make a difference today that will affect the statistics of tomorrow in a positive and Christ-focused way!

My thoughts:
I picked up Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it by Ken Ham & Britt Beemer last summer while on vacation. Already Gone is a very sobering and thought provoking book. The book is split into two part--the first covering the the hows and whys of our children leaving the church and the second half where he offers solutions. Even though Already Gone is not a thick book it is full of information that will probably require a reread on my part. This is an important book for our times and one not to be missed, especially if you have children or work with children in your church.

How to Smile by Delani

This is what I caught when I asked Delani to smile:

I did finally catch her doing the real thing!


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